Agencies are ‘out of touch’ says survey

Agencies are out of touch with the needs of marketing directors, according to research carried out by Brainjuicer on behalf of The Haystack Group.

The aim of the survey, which was carried out among 416 senior advertisers and agency chiefs, was to find out whether both client and agencies were working towards common goals.

Both advertisers and agencies feel that creativity represented the greatest strength that agencies brought to advertisers, but both agreed that agencies also fell down in their understanding of commercial realities.

Commenting on the findings of the research, O2’s marketing director Will Harris says: “There is an innate arrogance about agency land and a gap in how well agencies know our business.”

Differences were also shown in the perception of tenure held by agencies. Marketing directors believe that the average tenure held by advertising agencies was five years. Most agency heads thought their tenure had dropped to three years. By contrast, marketing directors perceive direct marketing (DM) agencies to be the biggest losers, and believe their status has been reduced from three-year tenures to ad hoc projects.

Marketing directors see DM agencies as less important than advertising, branding and PR agencies, whereas agency bosses believed DM was second place behind advertising agencies.

Marketing directors see their own main function as building brand and hitting sales targets, whereas agencies believe that marketing directors’ main function is to increase sales.

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